Training Camp is full in swing, preseason action is on the horizon, and real football is a mere month away. Though 85 and sunny outside, I’m spending my remaining summer vacation days as a melting puddle on my couch, churning out DraftWizards by the second, tugging to all the “best-shape-of-his-life” puff pieces, and watching every lineman sled drill of NFL’s Inside Training Camp Live. #TheGoodLife
Needless to say, fantasy preparation is at it’s absolute peak. Indeed, true Fantasy Wolves have been chugging away since the final whistle of the Super Bowl. Still, there’s plenty of time for you “August Sheep” to get caught up.
Start by checking out our FREE Fantasy Football Market report (monster update coming in 3 weeks). Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And, of course, pepper your favorite expert’s newly revived Twitter page with all your fantasy dilemmas and shred my soul into a 10 lb bag of sharp cheddar with all disagreements.
Though my Running Back rankings predictably received the greatest makeover, wide receivers weren’t far behind. From injuries to training camp emergencies to sneak peeks at different systems a variety of aerial pies are looking different than just two weeks agos.
Thus, we have updated our Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings and Stock Scores. Note – if you don’t know what “Stock Score” means, pause and immediately go here. Understanding our Fantasy Stock Formula is absolutely crucial, as it’s our tool for providing the most in-depth and accurate rankings in the business.
These rankings will be continually updated with every swing and shake of preseason action and training camp news. Be sure to check in daily to see where your favorite players are sliding in:
2017 Fantasy Football Wide Receivers Rankings: Preseason Edition
|Wolf's Rank (ECR / ADP)||Auction Value ($200)||Name (Team)||Talent||Usage / Opportunity||Coaching Scheme||Surrounding Talent||Risk||Stock Score + Grade (/50)|
|Tier 1 - Elite WR1s (A, $60-$65), Top-7 picks|
(1 / 1)
|$65||Antonio Brown (PIT)||10||10||10||10||9.5||49.5/50, A+|
|Summary: #1, #1, and #3 fantasy wideout since 2014. Over 320 .5 PPR points in 2/3 seasons, and has never been below 100 catches, 1,200 yards, or 10 TDs in that span. Highest floor / ceiling combo in all of fantasy.|
(3 / 3)
|$62||Julio Jones (ATL)||10||10||10||10||8||48, A|
|Summary: Arguably the most physically imposing wideout in the league has never dipped below 1,400 yards for three straight seasons, despite missing time. Still hasn't reached his ceiling due to injuries and poor red zone utilization (new OC Steve Sarkisian reportedly wants to expand his red zone role).|
(5 / 4)
|$60||Mike Evans (TB)||10||9.5||10||9.5||9||48, A|
|Summary: The ascending Evans should be helped, not hurt, by DeSean Jackson's addition. His league-leading 175 targets may dip, but the ones he'll receive will be far higher quality thanks to lesser defensive attention.|
(2 / 2)
|$60||Odell Beckham (NYG)||10||9||10||8.5||9.5||47, A|
|Summary: Odell's fantasy ceiling remains among the highest in the league, regardless of position. No WR has ever averaged as many FPs per game as Odell, but Brandon Marshall's red zone / locker room presence and a potentially declining Eli Manning create some serious risk.|
|Tier 1.5 - High-end WR1s (A still, $50-$55), late first|
(4 / 5)
|$55||AJ Green (CIN)||10||10||9||9||8||46, A|
|Summary: Led the league in targets (11 per game) and fantasy points prior to his Week 11 injury. Now he has some speedy compliments to take off pressure, and could be even more dominant in an offense that should be more explosive as a whole.|
(6 / 6)
|$54||Jordy Nelson (GB)||9||9||10||10||8||46, A|
|Summary : Despite recovering from ACL surgery, Nelson led all WRs in 2016 fantasy scoring thanks to 14 TD grabs. With insane body contorting skills and ballerina-like toe tapping, Nelson’s my vote for the top sideline artist in the game right now, and these skills, combined with Nelson's red zone rapport with Aaron Rodgers, should yield another 12+ scores, minimum.|
(7 / 7)
|$49||Michael Thomas (NO)||9||9||10||10||8||46, A|
|Summary: Thomas is reportedly being groomed as the Saints' version of Julio Jones; this type of usage in Sean Peyton's pass-obsessed scheme, alongside one of the top-three QBs in this game makes Thomas a legitimate threat to outscore all wideouts. His 92 catch, 1,137 yard, and 9 TD rookie masterpiece yielded the fourth most FPs by a rookie WR ever.|
|Tier 2 - Acceptable WR1s (A-, $35 - $45), early to mid second|
(9 / 8)
|$43||Dez Bryant (DAL)||9.5||9||8.5||9||8||44, B+|
|Summary: When healthy, Dez Bryant is still one of the most dominant players in this game. Unfortunately, after three straight 16-game seasons of 1,200+ yards and 12+ TDs, Bryant has struggled to stay on the field and remain consistent. Nonetheless, Dez and Dak's rapoport only strenthened as the year went on, and this should be one of the league's most dangerous connections in 2017 if Bryant can remain upright.|
|$40||T.Y. Hilton (IND)||9||9||9||9||8||44, B+|
|Summary: Hilton led the league in yardage last season (1448 yards), and should be in contention yet again with Andrew Luck's fantastic deep ball and Rob Chudzinski's vertically attacking scheme. The TDs will likely be minimal again in 2017 (6, never has topped 7), but Hilton's a high floor option and stable leader of a WR Corps.|
(12 / 13)
|$40||DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)||10||9||10||8||7||44, B+|
|Summary: Hopkins remains one of my favorite WR talents in the league, and whether it be Tom Savage or Deshaun Watson, anything is a serious upgrade over the pile of steaming dog shit named Brock Osweiler. If either signal-caller is mildly competent, this offense projects to take a massive leap forward with tons of explosive skill talent, and Hopkins should find himself right back in the 1,200 yard, 10+ TD range (with upside for far greater)|
(11 / 10)
|$40||Amari Cooper (OAK)||9.5||9||8||9||8.5||44, B+|
|Summary: Cooper should be a dominant WR1, yet inconsistency in usage and on-field performance have made him more "boom or bust" than a dependable weekly option, as he scored single digit FPs in 50% of his games and less total FPs than teammate Michael Crabtree (who's seen more targets for two straight seasons). Derek Carr is a smart quarterback who exploits the best matchups rather than force his top guy targets, which doesn't play into Cooper's favor. Still, this pendulum seems bound to switch his way as early as this year.
Stock Up (Previously WR14): Though Premature EjOTAlation is not recommended, Cooper has reportedly been flat-out dominant in OTA's, which has led Derek Carr to suggest Cooper will consistently "take over games" like he did at Alabama. Perhaps he'll be force fed after all.
(14 / 12)
|$39||Brandin Cooks (NE)||9.5||8||8.5||9.5||8.5||44, B+|
|Summary: Bill Belichick, the smartest man alive, has always loved Cooks, and now goes out of his way to get him... an absolute explosion could be coming. There are tons of mouths to feed here, but Cooks is by far the most explosive, and he'll be used both down the field and also on quick ins and screens to maximize his after-the-catch abilities.|
(13 / 14)
|$38||Demaryius Thomas (DEN)||9.5||9||9||8||8||43.5, B+|
|Summary: Mike McCoy returns with the bubble screen game in which Thomas thrived, racking up 94 catches, 1,434 yards, and 10 TDs (561 yards coming after the catch, second among WRs) in their lone season together. Additionally, Thomas finally got his hips healthy, and self-reports feeling "the best he has in my career." If that's not enough, head coch Vance Jospeh is challenging Thomas to be a true Alpha and take over games. I'd consider that a win of an offseason.|
(10 / 12)
|$38||Doug Baldwin (SEA)||8.5||8.5||8.5||9||9||43.5, B+|
|Summary: A great nugget from PFF's Scott Barrett: "Since Week 10 of 2015, Baldwin ranks 17th among wide receivers in targets, but behind only Antonio Brown in fantasy points. The bulk of this was during an injury-riddled Russell Willson's least efficient season of his career." The guy plays so hard and angry that every look is maximized, and with Wilson reportedly fully healthy, the best could be yet to come for Baldwin. Love him.|
|Tier 3 Huge Upside WR2s (B to B-, $27 - $30) Late Third, Early Fourth (LOVE this tier)||#colspan|
(27 / 22)
|$30||Tyreek Hill (KC)||9||8||9||8.5||7.5||42, B|
|Summary: I don't understand how Hill is ranked 28th among "experts," Jeremy Maclin's release withstanding This is one of the league's most explosive and versatile threats who was already set for a major spike in touches, and could go the distance every single time the balls in his hands (12 TDs despite playing less than half the team's offensive snaps in 2016...insane). Maclin's departure only secures his usage, but he was already my WR17. Hill's quick-twitch route running and ability to gain separation ensure he's not the next coming of Cordarelle Patterson, but instead one of the most tantilizing talents to own in 2017.
STOCK UP (Previously WR17): As mentioned above, Maclin's release secures Hill's floor even further, but we were already very high on the electric wideout. Others are just catching up to speed.
(16 / 15)
|$30||Sammy Watkins (BUF)||9.5||9.5||9||8.5||5||41.5, B-|
|Summary: Watkins projects to be a monster while on the field, but, as his injury-history past heavily suggests, is a major risk to be off it for a significant chunk time. New OC Rich Dennison hails from the "Shanahan" coaching tree, which generally means a tsunami of targets for his #1 "X" receiver, and Watkins already commanded 20%+ of the Tyrod's target share, so approaching 25-30% is a real possibility. This offense will feature a ton of play action / bootleg plays that Tyrod Taylor and Watkins have thrived on, and both will need each other to maximize a contract year. Watkins could legitimately be a top-five WR if he makes it through 16 contests, but this is a tall ask considering his extensive injury history. The ceiling is astronomical, as always with a talent of his kin.|
(17 / 19)
|$30||Keenan Allen (LAC)||9||9||8.5||9||5.5||41, B-|
|Summary: Essentially the same fantasy talent as Sammy Watkins, Allen feels like a permanent "what if..." but he's so damn sexy to own. Rivers has always loved him, and you'll get top-10 WR production every week he's on the field because everything about him grades out highly...except risk. He's suffered season-ending injuries two straight seasons, and is a major risk to do the same. Make sure your WR depth is strong if Allen's your #2, and gobble up the points while he's active.|
(19 / 21)
|$30||Davante Adams (GB)||8||7.5||9.5||9||7||41 B -|
|Summary: A year late but far better than never, Adams exploded and was one of 2017's Waiver Wire heroes. Most promising, Aaron Rodgers used Adams on all type of routes and levels of the field, suggesting he's fully comfortable with the entire tree. Yet another year of development will only help Adams, who's at worst the clear #2 in the league's most explosive aerial attack, and there's a chance he ascends into the #1 role should Jordy get injured or falter at his older age. The ideal #2 WR.|
(20 / 17)
|$29||Terrelle Pryor (WAS)||9||8||9||8||6.5||40.5, B-|
|Summary: Pryor magically pulled a 1,000 yard season out of the horror show that was Cleveland, and now gets a major spike in "Surrounding Talent" joining Kirk Cousins, who's been knocking on the 5,000 yard door for two straight seasons. Cousins and Pryor have already spent serious time honing their rapport this offseason; after seeing Pryor in action, Cousins has "vowed" to heavily target this size/speed freak on downfield routes, in addition to sayig he wants to "get him as many touches as possible." Though this is a crowded attack, Pryor could explode if used as Jay Gruden's next AJ Green. His upside is enormous.|
(21 / 23)
|$29||Michael Crabtree (OAK)||8||8||8||8.5||8||40.5, B-|
|Summary: I originally had Crabtree lower, but the Fantasy Stock Formula does not lie. Though his ceiling might not be humongous, Crabtree grades out well in every fantasy-relevant category, making him one of the most secure WR2s out there. He topped the more-heralded Amari Cooper in both points and targets last season, a trend we obviously don't see continuing with these rankings. Still, Crabtree will see heavy volume from a talented signal caller, and hasn't missed a game since 2013, creating a floor that is well-worth a top-20 WR slot.|
(30 / 24)
|$29||Martavis Bryant (PIT)||9||8||9||9||5||40|
|Summary: We come to our second major discrepancy with the "experts." Just like Allen and Watkins above him, Bryant is a legitimate WR1 option when he's on the field. Built like Randy Moss, Bryant is equally dangerous streaking down the field on deep routes as he is with the ball in his hands off screens, making him one of the highest-ceiling options any given week. He's also reportedly been working out hard really for the first time in his life, adding 10-20 lbs of muscle while maintaining his jets. It's simply a matter of keeping his head straight, and apparently having his first son has helped him become "a different person." Any sheeps following the horrendous expert herd on Bryant's ranking will heavily regret it.
STOCK UP: Earlier in the offseason, Bryant was called out by Big Ben, who stated the talented-but-troubled wideout "needed to prove himself." Well, based on Roethlisberger's latest comments, consider the point proven. According to his QB, Bryant reportedly "looks like a stud" and has been making plays all over the field.
|Tier 4 - Remaining WR2s, Ideal WR3s (C+, $20-$25) Late Fourth, Early Fifth||#colspan||#colspan|
(38 / 36)
|$23||Eric Decker (TEN)||7.5||8||8||8.5||7.5||39.5|
|8/8 Stock Up Update: Amidst Corey Davis' absence (hamstring), Decker has reportedly been the receiving star of Titans Training Camp. He's making one handed snags, dominating one-on-ones, and emerging as Mariota's "go-to guy" in tough situations. Mariota has apparently locked in on Decker throughout two minute drills and 11-on-11s, and it appears Decker's gained the edge as the true top wideout here. Given both Decker and Mariota's incredible red zone efficiency, there's some sneaky WR1, 1,000 yard and 10 TD appeal here, and I'm finding myself ready to go all in on Mr. Big Dick Decker. With his health confirmed and a likely shot at pacing Tennessee in targets, Decker should be shooting up draft boards. Sure, this "Exotic Smashmouth" offense is run-heavy, but the lesser-talented Rishard Matthews was able to churn out 10 double-digit 1/2 PPR efforts in only 12 games as a starter. Decker will be, at minimum, a WR2 you can trust all season for a flex afterthought price. Number One WRs playing with quality QBs in schemes that mesh with their skillsets simply don't come along beyond Round 8, and thus Decker is among the best bargains in all of fantasy right now.
Summary: Though Decker's "Surrounding Talent" score receives an obvious and sturdy boost, his usage score also dips, as he descends to the obvious #1 target down to a murky situation. Still, quality over quantity matters here, and Decker's red zone prowess should be maximized on a team that was surprisingly 8th in the league in passing TDs, despite ranking 28th in passing attempts and 25th in yardage -- only Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Antonio Brown, and Demaryius Thomas have scored more touchdowns since 2012, and that’s with Decker missing 13 games last season. Corey Davis' development and the overall workload distribution is a necessity to monitor, but Decker could rise significantly if he's looking like a clear #1 here, as the TD upside would be massive.
(23 / 30)
|$21||Larry Fitzgerald (ARI)||7.5||8||8.5||8||7.5||39.5|
|Summary: The definition of a blue chip, Fitzgerald is coming off another 1,000 yards (eighth time), 90+ catches (seventh time), and Pro-Bowl (10th time), all good for another top-15 fantasy season). Ho hum. He's found new life as Bruce Arians slot-machine, churning out career highs in receptions the past two years (109 and 107). Nobody stays in shape quite like Fitz, so he should be ready to rock, but keep in mind his late-season slumps as age catches up -- Fitz finished with double digit 1/2 PPR points only twice in his final 7 games (one of which was a meaningless Week 17), but he also lacked a healthy John Brown to take away attention. This could be his final hurrah, and you better believe Fitz will make it memorable.|
(22 / 26)
|$21||Golden Tate (DET)||7.5||8.5||8||8.5||7||39.5|
|Summary: Tate's like a slightly poorer version of Michael Crabtree -- grades out well, but unspectacularly, in every area + Tate gets the added bonus of being the top target here. After scoring single-digits for the season’s first five weeks, Tate looked firmly behind Marvin Jones. Yet, something finally clicked during an 8 catch, 165 yard, 1 TD (27 FP) Week 6, and from this point on Tate ranked seventh among WRs in FPs. Tate's a strong fit in Jim Bob Cooter's quick-strike attack as an intermediate threat with strong YAC abilities, and should be a dependable WR2 all season and a strong floor play if your team is risky otherwise.|
(18 / 16 )
|$20||Alshon Jeffery (PHI)||9.5||9||7||7.5||6.5||39.5|
|Stock Down Update: Death, Taxes, Alshon missing practice time with a hamstring. Just a reminder of the type of headache you'll be getting if you go all-in on just the physical talent here.
Summary: Alshon's our first "Way Lower" candidate, and his hype is a bit exposed by our Fantasy Stock Formula. We acknowledge full well that Jeffery is uber-talented and should be used like a target-hog, yet too often this is where experts draw the line (and why he's the 15th wide receiver). When you mix in Doug Pederson's slow-paced, run-heavy scheme, a sophomore signal caller that's no lock to improve, and an extensive injury history + some general ineffectiveness last year, and Alshon has the looks of one of 2017's most overrated prospects. Yes, the upside is always there for a monstrous WR1 season given Alshon's talent; however, there are many factors working against Jeffery that many seem to be overlooking.
(15 / 18)
|$20||Allen Robinson (JAC)||9||8.5||8||7.5||6.5||39.5|
|Summary: Robinson was one of 2016's biggest busts, as his and Bortles scorching rapport from 2015 seemed to freeze over. Whether this was Robinson being exposed by stronger coverage, Bortles flat out sucking, or weak play-calling, these obstacles all need clearing up for a Robinson rebound. He's certainly capable, but that's a whole lot of baggage for a guy ranked #13 by the expert community.|
(36 / 35)
|$19||DeSean Jackson (TB)||8||8.5||9||8||6||39.5|
|8/8 Stock Up Update (Previously WR29): According to Tampa Bay Times writer Rick Stroud, the newly acquired DeSean Jackson has been “putting on a show” in early training camp, and not just as a deep threat. Jackson’s reportedly dominating in red zone and goal line drills, where he’s making leaping grabs and acrobatic toe taps over defenders and maximizing his quick-twitch abilities. He flashed this dominance all over the place on HBO Hard Knocks as well. This is literally the perfect match of Talent and Scheme, and Jackson should flourish.
Summary: HC Dirk Koetter's "Four Verticals" scheme is all about stretching the defense and attacking down the field, yet, outside Mike Evans, the coach had minimal talent to execute. Naturally, Koetter goes out and signs the guy who led the NFL in yards per catch (17.9) for 2016 and has been over 15 YPC for eight straight year. Even more promising, inside Bucs reporter Trevor Sikkema noticed Jackson moving all over the formation, including in the backfield and slot, to maximize his mismatch potential; this varied usage should create an even higher weekly floor, and while Jackson will likely maintain a boom-or-bust feel, he truly has a shot to explode every single week. An ideal flex target.
(31 / 34)
|$19||Willie Snead (NO)||6.5||8||10||8||7||39.5|
|Summary: Since Sean Payton took over as head coach 10 years ago, the Saints have ranked first in the league in passing yards five times, and never finished below the top-four. Let me repeat: 50% of the past 10 years the Saints have led the league in passing yards. This is the largest aerial pie in the entire NFL, and now Snead gets to step in as likely the second biggest mouth to feed following Brandin Cooks' departure. Though unimposing from a sheer physical standpoint, Snead is a crafty player that can run the entire route tree, excelling equally on deep posts as he does on quick slants, and his 6.5 talent score might be a gross undersell. Thus, the Blonde Muskrat seems like a fantastic bet for 1,000+ yards and 7-8 TDs. The experts are dead wrong on this one, and WR34 is robbery.|
(29 / 33)
|$19||Jamison Crowder (WAS)||7.5||7.5||9||8||7.5||39.5|
|Summary: Crowder receives a sturdy boost after both Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson left huge slices of a massive aerial pie up for grabs. Besides Jordan Reed, Crowder is the most established pass-catcher here, and should thrive with the coaching staff and Cousins' trust on his side. Washington radio and TV Host Grant Paulsen joined us on the Fantasy Fullback Dive and expects Crowder to take over the WR1 role here, given Crowder's “between-the-numbers” skillset meshes perfectly with Cousins high-percentage style of play. He even offered us a bold projection: 97 catches, 1150 yards, and 5 TDs. Though Pryor is the definite ceiling play who could develop into Gruden's next AJ Green, Crowder is the obvious floor play, and should be an easy bet for 1,000+ yards.|
(28 / 25)
|$16||Julian Edelman (NE)||8||7.5||9||8||7||39.5|
|Summary: Despite Cooks' addition and Gronk's return, Edelman should remain a viable WR2 in reception leagues as one of the craftiest slot route runners and thanks to his bonerific chemistry with The GOAT. Still, TDs will be near-impossible to come by, giving Edelman among the lowest weekly ceilings despite a 6-catch, 65 yard floor.|
|Tier 5 - WR3s with Upside (C+ still)||#colspan||#colspan|
(35 / 29)
|$14||Kelvin Benjamin (CAR)||8.5||8||7.5||7.5||7.5||39|
|8/9 Stock Up Update: Talk about a 180 degree turn in a matter of a play. Yes, it's the preseason. Obviously, the sample size is a mere drive. Still, Benjamin answered the most important question of all during the Panthers preseason opener: is he still fat? The answer? A vehement no. Benjamin looked in prime form as he made a leaping, full-extension TD grab where he used his massive frame to outleap and outmuscle the defender. Earlier, he stiff-armed tacklers to the ground and looked on a mission to prove the doubters wrong. Benjamin's always had the size and speed of a true WR1, he simply needs to put it all together for a consistent stretch. Netwon can make that difficult, but Benjamin showed he's at least ready, and he sees a massive boost as a result.
Summary: After such a promising early career, Kelvin should never be in this tier... but holy hell, did he look fat. And the chunkier Kelvin gets, the further he plummets down the rankings... as if he was just rolled off a bridge. The latest reports suggest he's back in shape, but he was last seen looking like a guard, so I need to see this before I come close to believing it. Even if Kelvin's decreased his mass, he now has to contend with explosive rookies Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel for touches. The team seems destined to transition from the slower-developing long route game into a quick-strike attack, which doesn't favor Benjamin's strengths. If he's in shape, Benjamin will still be the top wide receiver alongside a talented signal caller, but most signs are pointing to bust here.
(26 / 28)
|$14||Stefon Diggs (MIN)||8.5||8.5||7.5||7||7.5||39|
|Summary: Diggs played through a litany of injuries in 2016, but was an absolute monster when fully healthy: When not on the injury report, Diggs averaged 11.5 targets, 9.3 receptions, 107 yards, and .33 TDs a game -- 17 half-ppr pts a contest, or bonafide WR1 numbers. OC Pat Shurmur has used Diggs as an offensive focal point before, seeing 13, 14, and 15 targets in a three week span, and really just needs to stay on the field to yield some huge stats, even in this disgusting attack.|
(33 / 31)
|$14||Brandon Marshall (NYG)||7.5||8||9||7.5||6.5||38.5, C|
|Summary: Eli Manning has already compared Marshall to Plaxico Burress as a guy you can "throw open" in the red zone with his size -- Burress averaged 1,075 yards and 9.3 TDs alongside Eli. Still, Marshall needs to prove he can coexist with OBJ in a reduced role + that he's even still got it after a horrendous year with the Jets. He has a "Donte Moncrief" TD-or-bust kind of feel, where he hits more often than not though. A 1,000 yard, 10 TD ceiling is real here, though, making Marshall a sexy WR3 play and a risk to rank this slow.|
(24 / 20)
|$14||Jarvis Landry (MIA)||9||7||7.5||6.5||8||38.5|
|Summary: Landry joins Allen Robinson and Alshon Jeffery as guys our "Fantasy Stock System" grades out far lower than his current "ECR." Similar to those two, I love Landry's talent, especially his sure-handedness and beastly run-after-the-catch abilities. Yet, this became the "Jay Train" show by midseason, where Landry's numbers fell off a cliff -- Landry saw 6.2 targets per game after that offensive shift, a not-insignificant drop from his 9.7 targets per contest in 2015. He was PPR WR27 from Week 6-16, when Ajayi was established as Miami’s go-to.. Landry the reception machine totaled five catches just twice in the second half of 2016
Whereas last preseason I expected Landry to be a complete target hog in Gase's "bubble screen" system, the LSU stalwart become a mere afterthought in a run-centric attack, something that projects to continue given how successful the team is when feeding Ajayi. Plus, with all these glowing reports on Davante Parker being ready to evolve into an Alpha WR1, Landry could struggle for anything more than his requisite 4-5 catches for 40-50 yards. Fine in full-PPR, tough to trust as more than a WR3 otherwise.
(40 / 42)
|$14||DeVante Parker (MIA)||9||7.5||7.5||8||6||38|
|8/8 Stock Up Update (Previously WR38): Parker continues flying up the board after his dominant OTAs showing is translating into fully padded practices. His habits on and off the field remain vastly improved, and are allowing Parker to capitalize upon his gifts. Moreover, Jay Cutler has historically preferred bigger bodied wideouts and is never afraid to lock-in on these mammoth targets and give them a shot at winning the one-on-one, hence why Parker surpasses Landry on the "Surrounding Talent" scale. If Parker's practice performances translate, he'll be in prime positon to win these battles weekly. One of the highest upside Round 7 or 8 picks you can make.
Summary & STOCK UP (Previously Unranked): Perhaps no player has generated more positive buzz than DeVante Parker this offseason, and I'm in the buying club. For one, much of the talk is about his improved habits, both on and off the field, which is one of the few kinds of offseason notes of importance. So many players with the athleticism of Parker are used to just dominating their earlier careers on sheer ability; yet, on the NFL field every one is a freak athlete, and work ethic and habits are crucial. Parker is reportedly practicing harder than ever on the field while eating and sleeping right off it, and the results have been downright orgasmic. He's been labeled the star of OTAs and primed for "gigantic" year by multiple sources, while Gase has noted his "big play, number one receiver" qualities, even comparing him to Demaryius Thomas (who dominated in Gase's system). If he continues making plays all over the field when the pads come on, Parkerwill undoubtedly shoot into upside WR3 territory.
(37 / 39)
|$10||Jeremy Maclin (BAL)||7.5||7.5||8||8||7||38|
|Summary: The Ravens have led the league in pass attempts for two straight seasons, and now see 345 targets open up. They then strike gold and land the late-released Jeremy Maclin, who projects to be their top pass-catcher. Wallace and Perriman should be burning down the field on the outside, leaving the middle of the field wide open for Maclin, who's projected to start as slot WR (only four wideouts have caught more TDs from the slot over the past two seasons, including when Maclin missed time). He only has 5 drops over his past 343 targets in three seasons, and the sure-handed Maclin should thrive in his new home, even if he's unexciting to call on draft day.
Stock Up (Previously unranked) : Maclin goes from third target, at best, in Kansas City's slow-paced attack to the likely top guy on a team that has led the league in pass attempts two straight seasons. WIN.
(39 / 38)
|$10||Cameron Meredith (CHI)||7.5||8.5||7.5||7.5||7||38|
|8/8 Stock Up Update (Previously WR50): No wideout has risen quite as much as Meredith. Coaches have reportedly been pushing him to embrace the No.1 mindset, and Meredith has apparently done just that. Everyone is raving about his "smooth" routes and his excellent control over his big, long body, and how he's using it to outmuscle corners who are similarly deceived by his speed. Overall, this is a physical specimen who's really coming into his own, with a coaching staff pulling for him to be their top target, and a quarterback who's peppering him to that tune, thanks to an "evident rapport." Despite being an UDFA rookie, Meredith went for 9+ catches and over 100 yards on four separate occasions, despite playing with Matt Barkley. Now that he's further developed and adjusted to the speed of the game, those monster efforts could come even more frequently.|
(25 / 27)
|$10||Emmanuel Sanders (DEN)||8||7.5||8||7||7||37.5|
|Summary: I can't really verbalize why I'm 10 points lower on Sanders than the ECR -- he simply just doesn't do it for me for no particular reason. I like his talent, he's shown enormous ceiling before... and yet nothing about drafting him excites me. I do like Mike McCoy's passing attack, and we've seen this yield massive numbers for multiple receivers before. Yet, I also struggle trusting Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch's arm to maximize this scheme. If the offense is clicking, I will send Sanders rising. But I simply don't trust him at the moment.|
(34 / 37)
|$10||Pierre Garcon (SF)||6||9||9||7||6.5||37.5|
|Summary: When Garcon originally signed in San Fran, I was all-in, having him as high as WR29. The reasoning was easy: Kyle Shanahan has long funneled targets to his "X" receiver, and went out of his way to sign Garcon, who led the league in targets (181) and receptions (113) while putting up 1,346 yards and 5 TDs under Shanahan's play-calling in 2013. Yet, Grant Cohn told our podcast that Garcon, who he expected to standout all over the place, instead looks slow and old, rarely gaining any separation from the 49ers lackluster corner group. The targets and receptions should be there, but Garcon will need to prove ready for them if this will even matter.|
(32 / 32)
|$9||Donte Moncrief (IND)||8.5||7||8||8||5.5||37|
|8/8 Stock Down Summary: Shocker! Moncrief has missed most of Training Camp with a shoulder injury. The injuries and inconsistency are simply too much to ignore, despite his mouth-watering upside.
Summary: Well, our prediction of "The Next Allen Robinson" was half right. As expected, Moncrief used his long build, insane ups, and excellent high pointing abilities to again be a monstrous red zone threat; the freakish athlete has now tallied 12 TDs in 15 games with Andrew Luck. Yet, the story doesn't travel much father, as Moncrief never once topped 70 yards in 2016 and has only done so twice in his career. His new WRs coach Sanjay Lal sees far more potential than a red zone aficionado, stating Moncrief "has all the tools" to be "one of the better receivers in the league." While we certainly agree the physical gifts are present for a monster leap, especially considering he entered the league raw and is only in Year Four, we need more than coachspeak to actually believe it.
|Tier 6 - Sexy Flexys / Top Bench Options (C-, $6-$7)|
(41 / 45)
|$7||Tyrell Williams (LAC)||8||7||7||8||6||36|
|Summary and Stock Up: Williams rifles up 11 receiver spots after news broke that rookie WR Mike Williams is going to miss significant time, if not the entire 2017 season. Williams is now the clear cut No.2 wideout with one of the game's top gun slingers in Philip Rivers, and he'll undoubtedly benefit from the increased volume he's bound to see.
Not that he necessarily needs oodles of looks to produce. Despite ranking outside the top-20 in targets in 2017, Willams was tops in the NFL for catches of 40+ yards and top-five in catches of 25+, ultimately facilitating a WR16 finish. He is clearly a bonafide deep threat with huge play ability, and, at 6’4″ and 205 lbs, he has the potential to develop into a red zone mismatch. Though he’ll be relegated into a clear No. 2 behind Allen, this might ultimately help Williams; his deep ball skillset could flourish with less defensive attention. And, of course, he carries the “handcuff” upside for whenever Allen’s inevitable injury occurs
(44 / 44)
|$6||John Brown (ARI)||7.5||7||8||7.5||5.5||35.5|
|Summary and Stock Up: Gridiron Experts' Mitchell Renz joined our Fantasy Fullback Dive and brought some fire takes on John Brown and how he profiles very similarly as Bruce Arians' next "Antonio Brown" from a size and route running standpoint. The elite Steelers wideout similarly took three years before hitting his peak, so the timing for a breakout could be ripe here. Moreover, Brown's added 12 pounds of muscle while maintaining his elite speed, which reporters write has him "looking the part of a game-changing wide receiver." The upside is sky-high here, and Brown could absolutely explode into high-end WR2 status.|
(43 / 40)
|$6||Randall Cobb (GB)||7.5||6||8||8||5.5||35|
|Summary: Cobb's WR coach recently said: "“You saw [Cobb] in those playoff games, and he wasn’t even totally healthy, and you saw how impactful he was,” said Getsy. “That’s why we say we have to get him the ball. He’s going to do it again. He missed a few games with injuries, but the way he played last year down the stretch was incredible.” Though he's third on the target totem pole, anyone attached to Rodgers and this offense is gold. Cobb could be a steal this low if his usage score proves better than a 6.|
(49 / 41)
|$6||Corey Davis (TEN)||8.5||6.5||7||7.5||5.5||35|
|8/8 Stock Down Update: While Corey Davis nurses a hamstring ailment, Eric Decker has reportedly shined and emerged as the clear go-to-guy in Tennessee. Davis certainly has the talent to overthrow this, but the missed time is particularly worrisome for a rookie, who needs to build trust with his quarterback and adjust to the overall speed of the game. Davis is still very capable of blowing up, particularly if you can stash and wait, but an immediate impact seems unlikely unless he returns ASAP.
Summary: Now we turn our attention to the other potential Alpha in Tennessee. Davis was as prolific a WR as the FBS hs seen, racking up an insane 5,278 yards on 331 catches, along with 52 touchdowns in his four years. He can destroy teams downfield, is incredibly efficient in and out of his breaks for the shorter game, is great after the catch, all on top of an insatiable work ethic. Davis has all the tools to break away from this packed receiving corps, but does have the rookie learning gap working against him. Monitoring his progress, ranks among the receivers, and rapport with Mariota will all be crucial this summer -- he could fly into potential WR2 range if all things are shaping up right.
|Tier 7 - Top "Penny Stocks" (D+, $2)|
(68 / 56 )
|Summary: From Weeks 8-15, Gabriel was a bonafide stud, producing WR2 or better numbers in all but one week. He's an explosive injection for any flex, and completely disrespected by the fantasy community right now.|
(51 / 49)
|$2||Marvin Jones (DET)||7||6||8||8||5||34|
|Summary: Jones has had an under-the-radar great offseason, but the horrible taste he left in owners mouths is clouding this. He worked out with Randy Moss all offseason, and HC Jim Caldwell noticed, saying he believes this will help Jones maintain his white-hot start to 2016 over the course of a season. He did explode for 408 yards in three weeks, looking like the next bonafide WR1, but quickly faded. Let recency bias cloud others judgment, and scoop up this huge ceiling Penny Stock late.|
(52 / 58)
|$2||Ted Ginn Jr (NO)||6||6||9||8||5||34|
|Summary: In case you missed the Willie Snead blurb, the Saints have been the #1 passing offense in 5 of the past 10 seasons, and never dipped below the top-four in yardage under Sean Payton. The volume will certainly be there for Ted Ginn, and head coach Sean Payton stated "I have an exact vision as to how he'll be used, and that helps." Being singled out by an offensive mastermind is no joke, and with Cooks' vertical role now opened up, Ginn should see some seriously valuable looks alongside one of the best deep-ball throwers in the game. He carries that "week-winning" flex feel, which I love.|
(46 / 51)
|$2||Mike Wallace (BAL)||6.5||7||8||7||5.5||34|
|Summary: Wallace's stock took an obvious hit with Maclin's addition, as the speedster is likely to descend to the #2 role. Further clouding Wallace's prospects is Breshad Perriman, who is reportedly playing at a whole other level right now in Year Three. If the Perriman train continues gaining steam once the pads are on, Wallace could appoach "undraftable" territory, but for now he's the lone returning trusted target for Joe Flacco, which counts for a lot.|
(53 / 76)
|$2||Robert Woods (LAR)||7||7.5||8||5.5||5.5||33.5|
|Summary: I see your Enunwa and raise you one Woods in the "No.1 Receivers are always valuable" debate. Both Sean McVay and Jared Goff have singled Woods out, particularly for his work ethic in practices, and Woods is emerging as the top target by all accounts. What this means when Goff is slinging the rock? Who knows. But McVay has coordinated some wildly explosive attacks, making 1,000+ yards a fair possibility for Woods.|
(63 / 64)
|Summary: Whether capable or not, Robby Anderson ascends to the Jets No.1 WR role following Qunicy Enunwa's season-ending neck injury. Anderson is quite maddening, as he will make some insane, highlight reel grabs before dropping a ball delivered right to his hands. Yet, thanks to 4.36 speed and his long frame, Anderson is capable of exploding. He'll have every opportunity to pace the Jets in wideout snaps and targets, but is reportedly struggling mightily with drops and gaining separation from the press in camp. On volume alone, Anderson is worth a late round stab in hopes he can find some consistency and maximize his impressive physical skillset.|
|Tier 8 - The Penny Stocks / Bench Stashes (1)|
(56 / 57)
|$1||Josh Doctson (WAS)|
(45 / 43)
|$1||Corey Coleman (CLE)|
(47 / 46)
|$1||Adam Thielen (MIN)|
(42 / 47)
|$1||Kenny Britt (CLE)|
(66 / 97)
|$1||Anquan Boldin (BUF)|
(57 / 62)
|$1||Breshad Perriman (BAL)|
(123 / 107)
|$1||Cordarrelle Patterson (OAK)|
(54 / 54)
|$1||Kevin White (CHI)|
(74 / 99)
|$1||Nelson Agholor (PHI)|
(72 / 63)
|$1||Cooper Kupp (LAR)|
|$1||Kenny Golladay (DET)|
Is Eric Decker worth such a monumental rise? Do you believe in Tyreek Hill and Martavis Bryant like The Wolf? Is Jarvis Landry criminally low? Is The Wolf overreacting to Kelvin Benjamin‘s first preseason game? Who else is way on or off in this list? Sound off below, or chirp The Wolf on his Twitter page here.
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